Jonathan Edwards has, for nearly five decades, built a musical career of uncompromising integrity, delivering songs of passion, insight, and humor. A cornerstone of America’s folk music tradition, Mr. Edwards has traveled the world—the “barefoot troubadour”—performing for legions of fans. On 19 April, Mr. Edwards performed (with shoes on!) in the Smith Theater, as this year’s Andrew Daland ’46 Memorial Concert.
Mr. Edwards, who began performing music at age eight, built a following by playing on Saturday nights in the lobbies of college dorms throughout New England. He soon found himself opening for national acts, including the Allman Brothers Band and B. B. King. In 1971 he recorded his first—eponymously titled—studio album, for which he earned mainstream attention. His song “Sunshine” made its way to the top five on the national charts, earning him a gold record. He has recorded 18 studio albums to date—many critically acclaimed, and many cultural markers for our time.
Vigilant over the years about maintaining his own work-life balance, he advises young, aspiring performers on balancing personal life and career. In 2001, he hosted Cruising America’s Waterways, a PBS documentary series in which he traveled by boat from the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence River to Key West. In 2008, a documentary of Mr. Edwards’ life and career titled That’s What Our Life Is was released.
Mr. Edwards prides himself on “taking good care of an audience.” He delivered for an audience of RL boys, faculty and staff, with lyrics accompanied by guitar, piano and harmonica—songs ranging from his 1971 hits “Sunshine” and “Shanty,” to ballads “Emma” and “Don’t Cry Blue,” to a tune off his album Tomorrow’s Child, titled “Gracie,” inspired by his daughter.
The Andrew Daland ’46 Memorial Concert Fund was established by Andrew’s wife, Pamela Worden, and his family and friends, with the purpose of bringing a musical concert to Roxbury Latin boys each year in Mr. Daland’s memory. Since the Fund’s establishment, the school has been privileged to hear guitarist Jason Vieaux; the a cappella group, Cantus; Elijah Rock; Roxbury Latin’s own, violinist Stefan Jackiw, Class of 2003; and last year, Yale’s Whiffenpoofs. The School is grateful for the generosity that fuels this musical experience each year, and we were honored to have Ms. Worden join us for this year’s Daland Concert performance.